That One Time I Cast My IRL Crush (Kinda) to Play My On-Screen Love Interest

… and then proceeded to have a lot of feelings about it for an entire weekend.

We begin production on the web series this upcoming Friday. In three days, the past four months of writing, sending emails, and creating spreadsheets will culminate in us beginning our first 10+ hour shooting day! I am incredibly proud and excited. I’m trying to ignore the fact that I haven’t memorized my lines yet… and that my hair, eyebrows, and teeth look fucked up. I will have to get over my self-consciousness and body image issues, because nobody got time fo’ that.

We sent out the last of the finalized scripts on Thursday or Friday. I haven’t discussed the project in detail on here, but it’s basically a fictionalized version of our lives and friendship. We’ve changed some names, combined some personalities to make for more interesting characters, and exaggerated/consolidated some events. But for the most part, we are writing what we know: Being two Black women in their mid-to-late twenties, and trying to balance relationships/dating, money, working, and pursuing our dreams. I believe the show is funny and well-written, but I’m obviously biased.

As we both needed a compelling romance story for the season, I decided to write about a “situation” I was in (as in, not really a situation that I wasn’t even really in) a year ago. Of course my friend has her long-time boo thang, who she will probably marry. And of course, they have all their issues and quirks. But in my perpetual single-dom, I didn’t have any of that. I have a lot of crushes who don’t amount to anything, so I decided to write about that. Last summer, I met this guy through aforementioned sistafriend/collaborator/co-creator. And I just thought he was so fine. After a month of asking my friends what to do, I asked him out on a “coffee date,” which is like a real date… except much more ambiguous. (The same amount of anxiety-inducing pressure to not be a weird asshole, though.)

We went on the coffee date. I had a great time. He was funny. He was smart. He was cute. He was interesting and we had things in common, mostly that we’re both (a) Black(-ish); (b) writers and performers; and (c) live in the same general area. He was the first “new” person I had liked in a very long time. And if I’m being quite honest, I felt like he could possibly be someone I could “date” without wanting to be too involved. So, I kept pursuing it because I had a lot of time on my hands and a lot of warm, tingly feelings that I didn’t know what to do with. To make a long story short, things culminated (meaning: fizzled out in anti-climactic disappointment) when he told me he wasn’t interested.

My pride was wounded. My feelings were hurt. I felt embarrassed. And it brought up a bunch of residual, unpleasant feelings from He Who Shall Not Be Named. Mostly, I felt undesirable once again. And honestly, since last summer, I really have closed myself off again to having romantic feelings about others.

Anyways…

I decided to write about that guy in the web series, because it perfectly captures my awkward semi-aversion to dating… but also, it was full of the mystery and intrigue that all great romantic comedies are made of. As we continued to write this first season, I kept envisioning said guy as the character. And when it came time for us to talk about casting and hold auditions, I told my sistafriend, “Hey, I know this may be a bit much… but I think _______ should play himself.” We giggled a lot, realizing how ridiculous—but also, kind of perfect—this thought was. When we announced auditions, we made sure he saw the character breakdown. And what do you know? He, too, thought he would be a great fit for the role of “John.” Although there are some very distinctive, very funny scenes that take place in the series that allude to what happened between me and him, we mostly thought he wouldn’t pick up on it. I am usually way more zeroed in on the small minutiae of relationships (I mean that in the platonic, general sense) than other people, so I didn’t think he’d remember a lot of what happened. And—yes, this is going to sound fucked up—we thought he was too “Guy Dumb” to ever make the connection.

But he did make the connection. And he proceeded to ask my sistafriend and her boyfriend if we had written the show about him on Friday night, when we were all at an open mic. At first, I thought it was hilarious. (I still do. It continues to be a great story that only gets better.) But then, I felt really uncomfortable and vulnerable about the whole thing. I think maybe it just re-triggered those feelings of being undesirable, rejected, and embarrassed again. And also, I’ve never known how to be “just friends” with a guy immediately after I’ve liked him. Yes, he and I are friendly. But we’re not kicking back and drinking brewskies on a Thursday night, nahmean? I usually need some buffering/healing time between, “Hey, I have this enormous crush on you!” and “Oh, you don’t like me back? Let me go crawl up in a ball and die!” And because I kind of retreated after he let me know he wasn’t feeling me that way, I never really got that time. It’s mostly been an out-of-sight, out-of-mind type thing.

But alas, here he was on Friday, being all kinds of nosy. (Is it nosy if it’s about him?) This was exacerbated by our all-cast mixer the following night, in which I had to spend two hours in his general presence… and then told the rest of the cast about the whole sordid saga. (They laughed, and so it was more funny than traumatizing.)

To his credit, he is a stand-up guy and very good person. He let me be weird and distant on Friday and Saturday night, as I alternately made fun of him and refused to look him in the eye in the few moments I did talk to him. But it doesn’t change the fact that I have really trippy guy issues… and I wish I didn’t have these trippy guy issues, because I want to be the kind of girl who flirts effortlessly and can become friends with her crushes. Also, I would like to be 25 years old and not having “crushes” anymore, but I guess that’s another post for another day.

All of this to say: Over the next ten weeks, I will be forced to confront what will either be a brilliant plan of creative genius… or a catastrophic failure at trying to be cool and nonchalant. Yay, me! (-___-)

And I didn’t even get to the BEST part, which is… We needed a way to wrap up the story line in a fairly interesting way, especially since we leave it hanging for about three episodes. So, because I like to indulge the part of me that has bad ideas—and I am also tired of the fat, nerdy girl never getting the guy (Hello, projection!)—we end the season with his character deciding that he (maybe?) likes me, and wants to spend more time getting to know me. (I mean, that’s appropriately open-ended enough to not be sketchy, right?)

As a matter of fact, maybe I won’t show up to filming on Friday. By then, I may have drank myself into an irreversible coma to avoid all this fuckishness.

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What I’ve Learned From Unemployment Thus Far

I have been unemployed for two months now.

I would really, really, really like to be somebody’s full-time, decently-paid employee by October 1st. This shit is just bad for my mental health. Also, between working from home part-time and unemployment, I have abused my Netflix account. I need a purpose to leave my house everyday, that’s not grocery shopping on late weekday mornings, like a housewife.

I do not pretend to be good at this unemployment thing. As a matter of fact, I’m probably horrible at it. My room is not clean, nor is my closet organized. I haven’t taken advantage of all this extra time to go to the gym daily. As a matter of fact, I went to the gym more when I was holding down a full-time job. (I still pay for a monthly gym membership, though, mind you. I’ve used it once in the the past 18 months.) I haven’t reached nirvana or practiced gratitude. I do write more often, but who knows if it’s any good? 

However, I hope that I will be someone’s full-time employee one day. And more than that, I hope to be someone’s staff writer, with a decent following. And then maybe, these lessons learned will help someone else stuck in my shoes. You know, someone who is fairly impressive for their age, but is in-between “purposes” right now and doesn’t always feel the most confident in his/her/their abilities.

Anyways…

1. Whatever you do, DO NOT look for jobs when you’re feeling depressed or self-conscious. Now, granted, I usually feel some mixture of depressed/self-conscious… but it’s more prevalent at certain times/days. Also, being unemployed can be rather depressing all by itself. Still, if you’re just really down in the dumps about yourself or life or job prospects, do not apply for things. You will either (a) hate every posting you see; (b) talk yourself out of applying for postings that you’re a match for; and/or (c) let that negativity seep into your cover letter writing/job applying process. 

2. Force yourself to leave your house and do fun things. I have gotten into the habit of staying at home. My reasoning is that if I’m at home, I will actually be more productive. And also, I will prevent myself from spending money I don’t have. This is somewhat true. But also, being at home all the time isn’t all that enjoyable. After a while, I get bored. And then I surpass boredom and dive straight into melancholy. Losing your job doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself in the house all the time. Go outside. Take walks. Find free shit to do. Scrape pennies to buy coffee, so you can then go to a café and get work done. 

3. Ask for help when you need it. I’m really bad at this one. But as I move into my third month of being unemployed, I know I will indeed need to get the f*** over it. Hunting for a job can be really shitty, especially when you do not currently have one. After a while, it stops feeling like an opportunity; it feels like torture. And if you’re like me, you’re constantly reading articles like, “Your Resume Sucks! Here Are 8,562 Vague Ways to Get It Not to Suck!” These articles can do more harm than good. In those moments, you need to reach out to real people for help. Have friends, family members, mentors, and colleagues look over your resume and cover letter. Ask them if they know of any companies that are hiring that you would be a good fit for

4. Figure out other productive things to do with your time that also showcase your skills. I write. And I adore social media. Sometimes, it feels like a rather masturbatory practice. Sometimes, it seems like something worthy I do with my time. Either way, I am hoping to be employed as a writer or editor someday, hopefully for a digital media company. So in the meantime, I need to be honing my skills and getting my work out there. Figure out what your thing is and do it. You can also learn new skills. I keep telling myself I will sign up for one of those free skill-sharing classes and legitimately learn graphic or web design. But for now, I open up Abobe Illustrator once a month and practice drawing shapes.

5. Try a new technique. With technology and the Internet, it’s pretty easy to just send out your resume and cover letter by email, feel good about yourself, and then just twiddle your thumbs as you wait for the job offers to roll in. Or maybe it’s just me who does this. But I’m realizing, everyone else and their mom is also employing (no pun intended) this same tactic. So maybe, you need to go the extra mile, especially if those job offers do not roll in. The Internet is great and all and I love it so much, but it’s also made it a lot easier for people to remain anonymous. You are not a real person anymore, you are the 107th email that HR person has received today.

6. For the love of all things holy, stop doubting yourself! You may be unemployed, but you are not a worthless individual. You have skills and experience that people need. You are talented and smart. You can put together nice outfits and have perfected your firm handshake. Stay faithful, remain confident. Do not talk yourself out of applying for jobs, just because you’ve applied to 20 thus far… and no one has emailed you back. They’re dumb. They would be so lucky to have you drink their free coffee every morning. Someone else will realize this and beg you to come work for them. Just be patient. 

Stop Asking Me About My Dating Life, Damn It!

Yesterday, I called my aunt because I had a question about unemployment benefits.

Before, I tell this story, I feel that I should keep it 100 about where I was mentally/emotionally. Yesterday, I had no interest in dealing with people. I got into an argument about privilege with one of my closest friends, and then told her I didn’t want to talk with her. As a social justice “activist”, I know this is the incorrect response when someone is telling me to check my own privilege. But in all honesty, I just wasn’t in the mood to hear that shit. Especially when I’m talking about pushy white women with too much money and not enough respect for other people. Don’t make this about me! Anyways, I digress…

I just came back home from my road trip on Thursday afternoon, in which I spent over 17 days straight with one other human being. That never happens. I live at home with my mother, and I still don’t spend days with another person. I’m pretty sure yesterday was one of those days when I just really needed to “be by myself,” but my iPhone was acting a damn fool and my car was hella dirty and my mother doesn’t buy real food anymore. So I had beaucoup errands to run. And then California EDD through me a curve ball. And also, I’m a grown-up and a human being, and sometimes I just can’t get out of interacting with other human beings. 

So, yeah… I’m not in the proper emotional/mental space to have legitimate interactions with other people. But I had a question about why the EDD does whatever they do, and I knew my aunt was the only person who could answer it. Thus, I called her up.

As I never call her—or anyone, for that matter—she was both surprised and happy to hear from me. We chit-chatted about life. I told her a little bit about my road trip and looking for a job. She told me that she was going on vacation to Fiji in a few days. If I was a normal human being with well-developed social skills, I probably would’ve invested more time into the conversation. I should have. My aunt is fun. And she’s always been there for me. And I don’t see her or speak to her as often as I should. But did I mention that yesterday was not the day for me to be talking to people, especially people I actually care about?

After she had answered my question about unemployment benefits, she swiftly changed the subject: So, have you met anyone?

And this is where I got real defensive, real fast…

I hate when people ask me about my dating life. Like, I find it incredibly annoying and frustrating for a myriad of reasons. First, I really don’t think it’s anyone’s business who or when or if I’m dating. As a matter of fact, I typically don’t ask other people about their dating life. Because I don’t care. If I have friends who are in serious, long-term relationships, then I will ask them about their partner. But if you’re single, I don’t give a shit. I’m single too. I know what singledom is like. Can we talk about Beyoncé or cats or war or something?

Second, most people are not aware that at this point, I’m pretty sure I’m suffering from some kind of PTSD brought on by how my last (and only thus far) “relationship” ended, which also probably has a lot to do with my parents’ divorce. I get it. I’m 25. I should be over it right now. I need to do some emotional healing and eradicate all my baggage. Blah, blah, blah. We all have our shit and it all stinks. My shit is this and I’m dealing with it the best way I know how.

I could go on and on, but I’m sure you get it by now. And also, I’m sure I sound like a bitter, old shrew. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s that the world tunes you out if they think you’re bitter. Suddenly, it’s not about my past experiences or the things I’m trying to heal from. I’m just bitter and angry, and no one wants to hear about that.

So, yes, I’m having this conversation with her. A conversation that I really do not want to be having. And in the awkward silences, I can almost hear her thoughts. I know she’s judging me, but trying her best not to. I know she’s thinking that I should probably “get back out there”. She suggests online dating. I tell her I’ve been there, done that. And this is especially why I hate having these conversations. Because then it becomes about the other person trying to “fix” me. My single-ness is a problem, and they are here to solve it. But I didn’t ask for it to be solved. I didn’t even bring up this topic. 

And in the rare occasion when I do bring it up, people stop hearing me. Or if I actually engage in the conversation and admit to being lonely, then everyone is telling me, “Oh, well, you shouldn’t care! Live your life! There’s more to do with yourself than date and obsess over guys!” Um, what? That’s what I’ve been saying. What do you want from me?!

I think she finally caught on that this wasn’t a topic I was willing to discuss and we moved onto something else briefly before hanging up. 

All of this to say, I never intended to be that weird girl who doesn’t date. In some ways, I am sure people find my will power to avoid dating situations to be somewhat incredible. It’s an anti-superpower. Instead of stopping time or flying, I can repel men and their advances really well! Yay, me! And in a way, I think it’s rather impressive as well. But I’m not stupid. I know it’s a sign that something is off-kilter, that I will need to address this off-kilter thing soon. Because I have been keeping people at a distance for so long, I don’t remember what it is like to be vulnerable with someone. 

But I am the only person who can decide when I will be ready to take on that process and have those conversations. In the meantime, I need people to leave me the hell alone and stop inquiring about my personal life. Besides, I post everything on Facebook anyways. If I had a man, you would know it. I would wear T-shirts and put out press releases, OK?

Let me be single in peace.

The Unbearable Everythingness of Being

Sometimes, I feel like I’m being dishonest when I write in this blog. It’s my “public” blog, my “writer’s” blog, so I feel this pressure to be positive and interesting.

In reality, I am most interesting when I am being honest. And when I’m being honest, I’m not usually all that positive.

I think the most difficult thing about growing up, is you have to come face-to-face with everything everyone has ever told you about living and being a person. You have to start figuring out who you are and what you believe… and if you’re who you are and believe what you believe because it’s true for you, or because someone gave you these ideas.

Since leaving my full-time job last summer and spending most of my days at home, I have a lot more time to think about these super-meta things. I’ve gotten to know myself better. It’s really uncomfortable sometimes. It’s easy to build up a version of yourself that is for public and social consumption. On Twitter and Facebook, I am so witty and entertaining. With my friends and colleagues, I am funny and full of energy. 

But when you’re given an indefinite amount of concentrated time to just be alone… all of that stuff becomes what it is: cosmetic. It melts away and then you’re another you. Maybe not a more “true” you, but definitely a less enhanced and deliberate you. This past year, I got to be me, boiled down. It has been a gift. But some days, it is overwhelming. 

Recently, I have been grappling with this sense of “supposed to” vs. this sense of “want to”. They’re not matching up. I spent a very long time making a plan for my life that was somewhat responsible and somewhat indulgent at the same time. I was intent on becoming a “creative professional,” whether that meant writing or acting or directing. But still, I did well in college and made sure I had meaningful experiences like studying abroad and transferring to a school that better suited my needs. I realized I was passionate about social justice—I’m just as passionate about it as I am about writing and TV and poetry and theatre. I found a good job after graduation that let me be both responsible and creative. 

But within the last year, all of my plans and my attempts at being responsible and put-together have come undone. As much as I enjoyed working with youth in the non-profit/community-based sector, that work is draining. I burnt out. As much as I enjoyed performing, I don’t feel as confident in my body or myself. And standing in front of hundreds of strangers, telling them my stories and being vulnerable doesn’t sound as appealing. As much as I love writing, I too often hear the voices of my mother and other family members telling me, “This is not a practical career.” Or I think about how much better other writers are than me, and I feel silly and unworthy. 

More than anything, I’ve felt bared. At times, this is good. So many people often tell me what an honest person I am. I take great pride in this. I believe a lot of the problems we have in the world are made worse by the fact that people are not willing to be open and honest with themselves, with each other. So yes, I move through the world on a principle of honesty. But it can be difficult when this honesty is not valued or appreciated… or when others simply don’t know what to do with it. 

This year, I’ve come to realize some things about myself: I like staying home by myself more often than I like going out with friends. I like spending quality time with small amount of friends. I have serious issues with food and overeating. I have an aversion to working out and doing other things that are good for me, but require more than bare minimum effort. I have been able to get by in life mainly because I’m smart, kind, lucky, and somewhat talented… but not so much on hard work. And the older you get, the more hard work matters. I don’t really enjoy working full-time or within office spaces, but I do enjoy the financial security that having a “regular” full-time job provided. I love my family, but I’ve always felt different from them… and thus, I can’t spend too much time with any of them without feeling awkward and/or annoyed. I have faith in God and I have system of personal spiritual principles… but my relationship with The Big Universal Spirit is fractured and I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t like asking for help, but I do like complaining. I let fear guide a large part of my actions and decisions. I would love to start dating, but I am unwilling to make myself truly vulnerable for any person. Even though I love writing and the arts/culture… I really have no firm clue about what I want to do career-wise.

I know all of these things about myself. And they are good things to know. But they are not easy things to know. And knowing them does not directly translate to action or resolution. And it’s so very frustrating.

All of this to say: It’s a Monday afternoon in late July. I’m still in my pajamas. Whenever I think of applying for a specific job, I stop myself for whatever stupid reason. I spend a lot of time thinking about how much I just want to be back in New York City, but I always make up an excuse why this is not a good time to move. 

All of this to say: I am wandering now. And I may wander forever. But eventually, I’ll find a little path to stay on for a bit. I hope…

Being 25: Week #1

Last Monday, I had a birthday.

I am now one quarter-century old. In the grand cosmic scheme of things, I’m still a baby. But in my eyes, being 25 is a pretty big and schnazzy deal. I am officially old enough to rent a car. Yay, me!

All in all, my first week as a 25-year-old has been pretty uneventful. I didn’t have a fancy birthday party. I didn’t go on a weekend trip to Vegas, or a trip anywhere. I didn’t treat myself to an expensive, indulgent purchase like a Michael Kors bag. (Maybe next year.) 

But there have been some developments…

1. I applied for unemployment. I am scared shitless of being destitute until I find full-time employment. Thus, I applied for unemployment benefits to help ease my stress. Also, the California EDD makes you register on a state-wide job search site, so it’ll really kick my job-hunting into gear.

2. I paid the registration renewal on my car. This is not interesting, I know. But in April, I bought my very first car. I paid for it in cash, like a boss. I own a vehicle. It is mine, all mine. And somedays, I still can’t believe. Getting my pink slip in the mail and renewing the registration made it so real. Yes, I will also have to maintain and take care of a machine for the foreseeable future… But man, it’s my car! I smiled through the whole process on the DMV website.

3. I let a bunch of people give me wine and buy me food. I love wine. I love food. There’s nothing better than getting both of those things for free. Over the past week, my lovely friends and family gave me four bottles of wine, made me BBQ (thanks, Dad!), and let me eat such delicacies as portobello mushroom fries and lobster. Mmm… Do you think they will do the same if I decide to celebrate my half-birthday this year?

4. I have agreed to go on a two week road trip with my homegirl. Three months ago, I was seriously considering moving back to New York City. And then I decided to buy a car and was like, “Welp! Guess I’m staying in California for a little bit longer.” But one of my dearest friends has decided to take a leap and continue her journey for artistic world domination in the “Big Apple.” She’s also decided to drive there, and asked me to come along for the ride. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. We leave in two weeks. First, we’re going to the Bay Area for the National Poetry Slam. (Poems on poems on poems!) Then we leave for the tri-state area! It’ll be good, good fun. Well, when we’re not tired and miserable from long hours of driving, swamp ass, and bubble guts from fast food.)

5. I have figured out (kinda) what I want to do with my life. I’ve been so all over the place this past year about what I want to study in grad school and what trajectory I want to be on. For a while, I was really into screenwriting. And then I realized, I have no business being in anybody’s film industry. I mean, I definitely still love TV and film. And I will probably write a screenplay or two in my life. But right now, with this semi-social personality, I don’t think it’s the best plan. But I do know that I love writing. I really, really love writing. I love reading. I love stories. I love critical conversations about what’s going on in the world. I love the Internet. And interning with For Harriet has made me realize that I enjoy doing editorial. So, I’m thinking about graduate programs in journalism and/or media and communications. Most journalism programs are only a year long, so I think that’s what I want to focus on first. I kind of fell into editorial on accident. And I’m still “honing my skills,” but I think being in a graduate program would be really beneficial. I need to re-learn how to research. And I need a better understanding on how media, journalism, and advertising feed into one another. I may pursue an MFA in Creative Writing later. But I’m really trying to be someone’s staff writer and/or features editor.

And lastly, I have managed to maintain a press-n-curl for 11 days. OK, this isn’t really news. But in the past five years, I’ve had my hair straightened four times. These edges give zero cares about how much money it took to flatten them out. I’ve been really impressed by my ability to rock straight hair, but I miss my ‘fro.

But in all seriousness, the other day I just had an overwhelming sense of excitement. I wasn’t doing anything worthy of being excited. But something told me, “You’re on the right track. This is going to be a good year.” 

Irked Up to Here

Growing up, my mom never used the words “annoyed” or “irritated”. 

Instead, my brother and I were either “irking the shit out of her” or “getting on her last damn nerve” (of which, she only had one). She has always had a colorful way with language. For this, I am grateful. I can bootleg a lot of her most common sayings and idioms, and sound way more witty than I actually am. And also, some of her sayings are just way more spot-on than any of the ones general English has given me.

Today, I am definitely feeling irked.

It is a combination of lots of things. I have less money in my account than I wanted, so I am feeling super stressed out about making all of my dollars and cents count. In the absence of having a job, I have to find other means to keep myself productive. Thus, I have resolved to finish all of the housework that I’ve been putting off. This week, I’m focusing on laundry and cleaning out my closet. I hate doing laundry. And both my father and my brother are on my last damn nerve. But I am also *thisclose* to getting my period, so my inability to put with menfolk this week could also be due to that.

In general, I’m not having it this week. Any of it, whatever “it” is. And yet, the Universe gives no fucks about my #BlackGirlWithAttitude feelings. How do I know this? People keep bugging the shit out of me.

As much as I love my friends and doing nice things for them, I have had a lot of people asking me for shit in the last 72 hours. Usually, this wouldn’t be a problem. If I have the resources, the means, or the time to contribute to others—I do so. This is partially because I genuinely enjoy being a kind person… and partially because I believe in stacking up as many good karma points in my favor as I can. (You never know when you’re going to do something really shitty. Thus, you always need to Universe balanced out in your favor.) But as I have limited resources right now, I am not feeling as giving. Plus, I have given a lot of energy and money and time over the last seven months, because I’m part of a friend’s bridal party. Her wedding is this weekend, and I am so very happy for her. I am also feeling so very tapped out. Whenever someone asks me for something, I just want to chew them a new asshole. Like, really, don’t ask me for anything. Don’t even ask me how my day is going. Yes, I’m on that level of irk-dom right now. But then I realize, it’s not their fault that I’m unemployed. It’s not their fault that I agreed to be a bridesmaid. And it’s also not their fault that I have a hard time setting boundaries with my friends. So then I feel guilty and say yes to whatever request was made of me… and then the whole cycle of being too through starts over again.

It doesn’t help that Los Angeles is hot and muggy as hell these days. Like, I don’t know where all this humidity came from, but I would appreciate it if it went back to whatever Midwestern state it’s supposed to be in. In general, I hate summer weather. All year, everyone is always whining about how cold it is, despite that winter in Los Angeles means we stay around 60 degrees. But alas, all I hear is, “Wahhh, it’s so cold! Why can’t summer be here?!” And in my head, I’m like, “Shut the hell up! This is glorious weather.” People who complain about winter have never been fat in summer heat. Summer is the worst if you are adiposely-endowed. In summer, I devolve into a walking waterfall of face and under-boob sweat. To remedy the extreme heat that my body is absorbing, all I want to do is to wear dresses. But wearing dresses does not mean the same thing to fat girls as it does to thin girls. If I choose to wear a dress, I am inevitably making the decision to have my inner thighs chafe from chub-rub. I don’t always feel like dealing with this,  so then I wear pants. But if I wear pants, I am making the inevitable decision to suffer from swamp-ass (and also, swamp-crotch). So, by mid-July, I have acne from my face sweating so bad, a perpetual creek of sweat running under my breasts, thighs chaffed so bad I can’t walk, and swamp ass.

Moral of the story? Summer is the worst.

 

On Groovin’ To My Inner Rhythm

As the illustrious and prophetic Ice Cube once said, Today was a good day.

I had fresh-pressed juice and tea/coffee with my life coach/spiritual guru, Monique. A couple weeks ago, she text me to see how I was doing. I stopped seeing her last summer, as I was transition from full-time to part-time work. She is one of those people that I know will be in my life forever. She’s an incredible woman—passionate, spiritual, intelligent, funny, and so insightful.

Whenever I see her, I know (a) some real shit is gonna happen and (b) I am going to have a good-ass day. I say the former because our discussions always open up something within me, so I end up having to do some processing and self-work. And the latter because she’s so wonderful and compassionate, it’s an honor to be in her presence. Plus, she really listens to me.

I gave her a brief review of how I’ve been feeling since September. I explained to her that I haven’t been depressed necessarily, but I have been in a personal “winter”. She understood what I was saying, relating it to her own personal winter that she’s currently experiencing. I was trying to explain to her that with quitting my job in a couple months and turning 25, I’m on the cusp of trying to get my shit together. Not that I believe I will have my shit together at 25… but that it’s more about listening to myself, making decisions for myself, and doing good things for myself. Not in a self-absorbed way, but in a “I’m a grown woman! I can do whatever I want!” way.

I explained to her that I’ve come to realize that I’m not very good with being fully present, nor am I good at really listening and following my own inner rhythm. She was surprised when I said this. But I explained to her it’s because she’s an individual who is very in-tune with her own rhythm and being present in the moment. When we finally parted, I feel like that was my unofficial assignment for the next few months or so: To learn how to be obedient to my inner rhythm.

Larchmont is one of the best neighborhoods in L.A., so I decided to not be a loser and hang out on my own for longer. I stopped into an independent bookstore. I try to make it a habit of visiting and buying things from independent booksellers when I can. I love me some Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but I have seen one too many amazing treasure trove of books and letters die because of them. I don’t know what was in the air today, but I ended up spending $85 on books… despite being hella broke.

One of the books I bought was The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk. I have a love/apathy relationship with astrology. I believe like all forms of divination/philosophy/religion, it serves to help us have a greater understanding of ourselves and a sense of belonging within the Universe. But those weekly and monthly horoscopes in Cosmopolitan are a bunch of bullshiiiiit.

That being said, I am very much a Cancer. This book is cool, though, because it also talks about your Moon sign, your Rising sign, and all the other things in your birth chart. I read up about myself and tried to interpret some of the other stuff in my chart. But then it got too complex, so I gave up. (There’s a lot of math in astrology. I don’t fux with math like that.)

I think with it being Easter tomorrow and we’re finally full-swing into spring, I’m feeling that urge to connect to something greater and bigger than myself. I definitely believe in God. (I like to refer to myself as a proud panentheist). And I think spirituality ultimately serves to bring us closer to God. But I think that can come in different forms. Today, it was learning more about astrology. The thing I like about astrology is that it allows me to realize everything is interconnected and interdependent. We truly are part of one big whole, one big tapestry.

Between meeting with Monique and reading up about the different planetary influences on my life, I think I got to groove a little bit with my inner rhythm today. Part of being in an extended personal winter has meant that I’ve felt disconnected—from myself, from my friends and family, and from the world as a whole. But today, I felt a little more connected and clear about my shit.

Woohoo!